Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules

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The New York Times Bestseller

Recently retired WWE superstar AJ Mendez Brooks is a powerhouse—strong, quirky, and totally confident. But that wasn’t always the case. With humor and tremendous heart, she opens up for the first time about her harrowing struggle to understand her demons and the diagnosis that helped her gain control over her life.

 
Everything I was told should be my greatest insecurities and weaknesses, everything that I’ve been labeled—SHORT, NERDY, SKINNY, WEAK, IMPULSIVE, UGLY, TOMBOY, POOR, REBEL, LOUD, FREAK, CRAZY—turned out to be my greatest strengths. I didn’t become successful in spite of them. I became successful because of them.
 
Growing up AJ was a quiet girl trying to act “normal” when she felt anything but. As her family struggled with drug addiction, poverty, and mental illness, she found escape through comic books and video games, and was inspired by the tough and unconventional female characters. It wasn’t until she discovered pro wrestling that she learned superheroes could be real.
 
Determined to become the superhero she’d always admired, AJ trained and sacrificed for years to achieve her dream of wrestling professionally. Yet she quickly faced industry pressure to play the role of the damsel in distress and to dress more provocatively to cater to male fans. But she fought back and created an ass-kicking alter ego that was a genuine representation of herself: nerdy, enthusiastic, and a little bit crazy. 
 
With humor and tremendous heart, AJ opens up for the first time about her harrowing struggle to understand her demons and the mental illness diagnosis that helped her gain control over her life. What most people view as a hardship, AJ embraced as inspira­tion for her superhero persona, shattering the stigma attached to mental illness.
 
Charting her journey from a scrappy girl in an unstable home to an empowered wrestling champion, Crazy Is My Superpower is an un­flinchingly honest story and brave confessional about her long road to self-acceptance.
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About the author

AJ MENDEZ BROOKS is a former WWE wrestler and three-time Diva champion under the ring name AJ Lee. She is an animal rescue ambassador for several organizations including the ASPCA, and works with Girls Make Games, a program encouraging young women to pursue science and tech-based careers. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Phil 'CM Punk' Brooks.
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4.8
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Additional Information

Publisher
Three Rivers Press
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Published on
Apr 4, 2017
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780451496683
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Psychology / Mental Health
Sports & Recreation / Wrestling
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From the NYT bestselling author of The Monopolists, the "fascinating" (People) story of Olympian Kevin Hall and the syndrome that makes him believe he stars in a television show of his life.

Meet Kevin Hall: brother, son, husband, father, and Olympic sailor. Kevin has an Ivy League degree, a winning smile, and throughout his adult life, he has been engaged in an ongoing battle with a person that doesn't exist to anyone but him: the Director. In the tradition of Kay Redfield Jamison's An Unquiet Mind, journalist and NYT bestselling author Mary Pilon's The Kevin Show reveals the many-sided struggle--of Kevin, his family, and the medical profession--to understand and treat a psychiatric disorder whose euphoric highs and creative ties to pop culture have become inextricable from Kevin's experience of himself.

Kevin suffers from what doctors are beginning to call the "Truman Show" delusion, a form of bipolar disorder named for the 1998 movie in which the main character realizes he is the star of a reality TV show. When the Director commands Kevin to do things, the results often lead to handcuffs, hospitalization, or both. Once he nearly drove a car into Boston Harbor. His girlfriend, now wife, was in the passenger seat.

Interweaving Kevin's perspective--including excerpts from his journals and sketches--with police reports, medical records, and interviews with those who were present at key moments in his life, The Kevin Show is a bracing, suspenseful, and eye-opening view of the role that mental health plays in a seemingly ordinary life.
The New York Times Bestseller

With inside access and reporting, Sports Illustrated senior baseball writer and FOX Sports analyst Tom Verducci reveals how Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon built, led, and inspired the Chicago Cubs team that broke the longest championship drought in sports, chronicling their epic journey to become World Series champions.

It took 108 years, but it really happened. The Chicago Cubs are once again World Series champions. 

How did a team composed of unknown, young players and supposedly washed-up veterans come together to break the Curse of the Billy Goat? Tom Verducci, twice named National Sportswriter of the Year and co-writer of The Yankee Years with Joe Torre, will have full access to team president Theo Epstein, manager Joe Maddon, and the players to tell the story of the Cubs' transformation from perennial underachievers to the best team in baseball. 

Beginning with Epstein's first year with the team in 2011, Verducci will show how Epstein went beyond "Moneyball" thinking to turn around the franchise. Leading the organization with a manual called "The Cubs Way," he focused on the mental side of the game as much as the physical, emphasizing chemistry as well as statistics. 

To accomplish his goal, Epstein needed manager Joe Maddon, an eccentric innovator, as his counterweight on the Cubs' bench.  A man who encourages themed road trips and late-arrival game days to loosen up his team, Maddon mixed New Age thinking with Old School leadership to help his players find their edge.  

The Cubs Way takes readers behind the scenes, chronicling how key players like Rizzo, Russell, Lester, and Arrieta were deftly brought into the organization by Epstein and coached by Maddon to outperform expectations. Together, Epstein and Maddon proved that clubhouse culture is as important as on-base-percentage, and that intangible components like personality, vibe, and positive energy are necessary for a team to perform to their fullest potential. 

Verducci chronicles the playoff run that culminated in an instant classic Game Seven. He takes a broader look at the history of baseball in Chicago and the almost supernatural element to the team's repeated loses that kept fans suffering, but also served to strengthen their loyalty.  

The Cubs Way is a celebration of an iconic team and its journey to a World Championship that fans and readers will cherish for years to come.
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